As a reputable MSP business, you pride yourself on providing the most secure services. That’s why you need to be proactive when new challenges arise. Issues come from all sides. Whether it is malware downloaded by employees on client computers, social engineering using adware, or hackers trying to crack into sensitive data, you work tirelessly to protect the businesses you serve. Recent security flaws have come to light that requires the utmost attention. Digital attackers now exploit serious weaknesses in WPA2, the protocol used by modern WiFi networks. What does this new threat mean for your managed services? How can you best provide solutions to make your clients safer?
What is this KRACK-Up?
Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACKs) target the WPA2 security protocol that protects all modern WiFi networks. Unlike other the attacks which hackers can carry out remotely using malware, these latest breaches are proximal. Attackers must be within the range of the network in order to exploit the flaw. They can access data thought to be safely encrypted. Once cracked, they can see sensitive information such as phone numbers, login credentials, credit card numbers, emails, and photos.
WPA2s vulnerabilities have nothing to do with issues on individual connections. The vulnerabilities are in the protocol itself. All networks with the correct implementation of these security methods are likely affected.
This security flaw affects billions of devices. Anything that supports WiFi runs the risk of a breach. Android. iOS. Linux. PCs and Macs. KRACKs have the ability to steal encrypted information from them all. They target the third step in a four-step “handshake” that occurs between a WiFi-enabled device and a protected network. This step sends an encryption key which, when tapped by malicious users, offers tons of information if broken.
When they carry out these attacks, hackers access that data stream between your device and the network. Depending on the individual network, they may even be able to manipulate data. Malware and ransomware pose very real concerns since they are easy to add directly to what was once thought to be a secure, encrypted connection.
How Can You Protect Your Clients?
Given that the problem has the potential to affect billions of people worldwide, your MSP business must address these flaws quickly. Not doing so could prove damaging to your clients.
Communication is paramount when dealing with such a large vulnerability. Keep an open dialogue with your clients. Let them know that you are aware of the issues and doing everything you can to remedy the situation. Partner with them to determine any affected technologies. Coordinate with your team to manage your resources most efficiently. Determine the best courses of action to bring swift solutions.
Once you’ve determined your course of action, install any and all updates for client networks and devices. Multiple websites feature links to patches and updates for affected vendors. After you have installed these updates, maintain them. Focus on both current protection and future detection. Mechanisms for early detection mitigate further security breaches.
Deploy a second layer of encryption for any client networks. Patches from certain vendors may not immediately be available. Having an additional line of defense can work while waiting for applicable updates. Pair your client’s corporate VPN encryption with a firewall or access control list. This blocks traffic from the WiFi network to all other devices other than the virtual network.
Managing all types of issues is part of being in the IT support business. Security risks and breaches happen every day. Some are small scale while others affect far more people. Either way, it is your job as an MSP business to ensure the continued integrity of your clients’ sensitive data. The steps outlined serve as a guideline for you to most effectively approach solutions. Find those solutions and your clients will thank you.